(Read the intro to this series.)
Inputs: Runs scored and allowed taken from here, then adjusted for each team's strength of schedule.
Methods: xlsSports playoff simulator. The standard deviation for each team's winning percentage is set to .035 for the first simulation, and zero for the second. 10,000 seasons were simulated for each run.
First run: With normal levels of uncertainty. This is as accurate as we can get in the real world:
Second run: "Ideal" projections:
The difference might not seem profound, but it is. The weaker teams are much, much more likely to make the playoffs in the real world than the theoretical one.